Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Korres Eyeshadow

Korres Eyeshadows ($16.00 for 0.06 oz.) are smooth, blendable, and pigmented.  I’m actually surprised at how well-rounded Korres’ line is, just because I came to know them as a skincare brand first, rather than a makeup brand, but they can do both well.

  • #42S Green White is a sky blue with a silver-white frost sheen.
  • #44S Golden Green is a light, springy chartreuse green with yellow gold sheen.
  • #46S Olive Green is a smoked out gray-brown with a taupe sheen.  I really don’t see much green in it, but it’s a lovely cool-toned brown with maybe a smidgen of khaki olive in it.
  • #84S Sky Blue is a darkened periwinkle blue with violet and a bright, nearly metallic sheen.  This one is more like a stormy blue sky, maybe.  Not at all sky blue (in fact, they could have named #42S Sky Blue without missing a beat).

I’ll definitely put together a look using some of these shades, but after playing around with some combos on my eyes (nothing finished!), I like the way these blend together.  They’re very smooth and apply evenly. The packaging is simple and functional–plastic square flip-top compacts.  The back of the compact has a colored label and labeling information, so while I could see clear lids being more functional, the backs do give you a good idea as to what’s inside.  I would, though, like to find out who names the colors, because they never seem to quite work…

At the moment, Korres has their eyeshadows marked down to $7–so, I’d say at that price, these are most certainly a steal!

Also available in:  #12 Base, #22 Orange, #34 Golden Brown, #74 Light Purple, #27 Golden Bronze, #82 Light Blue

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you like softer, more muted variations on color, Korres Eyeshadows seem to offer a selection of shades that will give you color without being bright or too bold.

AvailabilityKorres

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

La Prairie Corail Lipstick
La Prairie Corail Lipstick

The Summer Season: La Prairie Corail Lipstick

La Prairie Corail Cellular Luxe Lip Colour ($55.00 for 0.12 oz.) is an intense, gold shimmered coral-red. La Prairie lipsticks are top-notch quality with a top-shelf price, too. To put it simply, the ingredient list in the Luxe Lip Colours include a line-filling complex an caviar extracts. I always do notice that my lip lines are de-emphasized after wearing the product for about fifteen minutes or so, but it’s definitely just a temporary affect from what I can tell. Granted, it’s impossible for me to wear the same color everyday for long!

The color itself is smooth, rich, and lasts a solid six hours on me. Yes, six hours! before it starts to fade a bit. Surprisingly, it’s not drying at all–the texture is silky and glides onto lips with ease, but it’s not overly creamy. It’s a stunning shade, and it certainly comes at a price. For those who can afford the indulgence, La Prairie lipsticks are excellent.

Is this the right coral lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Nubar Prisms Collection

Nubar Prisms Collection

Nubar Prisms Collection ($59.95 for 8 shades) is a springtime release that features eight shades of holographic nail polish.  These polishes do something fantastic when the light hits them and when your hands are in movement, so the flash photos best show-off the holographic effect when it comes to these holos.

The formula on these varied quite a bit–some were thin, some were more jelly-esque in thickness–but they all dried on the quicker side for me.  The majority of these were also on the sheer side, though, and I did three coats for nearly all of the shades here.  Even with three coats, there was still some nail line showing, which doesn’t bother me that much since it’s hardly noticeable at a distance–just up-close.

I’d also recommend a thicker top coat, because the majority of these do have a slightly gritty or noticeably uneven finish if left without a top coat!

According to Nubar…

Inspired by the colorful play of light through a prism, those bands of light and color are embodied in nubar’s Prism Collection. Each shade in the Prism Collection is filled with holographic glitter reflecting every color of the rainbow, with base colors just as varied, ranging from subtle neutrals to vivid pink to pale blue. Going a step beyond holographic nail lacquers, nubar’s Prism Collection is a celebration of color and light. As all nubar products, they are free of formaldehyde, toluene, and (DBP) phthalate, as well as vegan and cruelty free.

  • Prize is a pinked red with holographic shimmer–lots of gold and purple stood out in this one. I needed just two coats here, and it applied smoothly and evenly.
  • Essence is a metallic played down pink with holographic shimmer. This one came out a bit chunky, though it’s wearable, and I did see some brush strokes. Just two coats, though.
  • Absolute is an aqua-blue with a holographic finish. With this one, you don’t really notice the effect until it’s out in the light–normal, indoor light just makes it look like silver shimmer. I found this one was a little on the sheer side–I used three coats and could still see some nail line.
  • Treasure is a medium purple with red undertones and a subtle holographic effect. Like Absolute, it didn’t quite get to total opaqueness with three coats.
  • Brilliant is a pretty in pink shade with holographic glitter strewn through it. It’s not completely solid color after three coats, but it comes close.
  • Gem is a taupe gray with holographic glitter–it comes out a little murky and dark and forboding. The green and teal glitter really pop in this shade. Three coats here as well.
  • Spark is a just slightly warmed up light brown with holographic glitter. I love the texture and feel of this one. Three coats and it looked pretty solid.
  • Jewel is a deep, molten chocolate brown with holographic glitter. Like Gem, the green and teal glitter seem to pop. It has the chunkier texture of Essence, though.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you like softer color for your nails but still want the bling bling look of holographic glitter, you might enjoy the Prisms collection.  If you’re more inclined towards brighter or more opaque shades, you’ll want to look at some of Nubar’s other shades.

Availability: Nubar

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Clarins Eyeshadow Palette

Clarins Summer 2010:  Instant Sun Light Eyeshadow Palette

Clarins Instant Sun Light Eye Palette ($36.00) is a really wearable, easy-to-use summer palette that’s particularly suitable for those with warmer skin tones.  The palette includes four shades of eyeshadow:  a pale, shimmering champagne-peach; shimmering copper; satin medium-dark brown; and shimmering peachy-melon.  It also includes a gel eyeliner in a light chocolate brown with gold shimmer.

Each eyeshadow is smooth, pigmented, and blendable.  What I really love about this palette is how workable it is–all the shades belong and work together with ease.  This is a great everyday palette, but it’s also perfect for traveling.  Whether you want a lighter, softer neutral eye or a smokier eye, you can do both with this one palette.  Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t necessarily the most innovative shades, but they are high-quality eyeshadows that will do you well, if you’re in the market for some neutrals or want them all in a convenient palette.

The eyeliner also suits the palette, because it’s dark enough to be smoldering, but it’s not so dark that it can’t be worn during the day, too.  I like the subtle shimmer in it, and I didn’t experience any smudging or fading when I wore it.  The included brushes are just mediocre but will get the job done if you’re in a pinch.

Clarins packaged this well–just a nice metal compact with a velvety brown bag–and I’m really surprised at the price.  Typically, Clarins eyeshadow quartets retail for $40, while this limited edition summer palette is just $36.  This made me curious to see if perhaps they just went with minimal quantity, but you get 0.15 oz. of product here.  Quartets contain 0.21 oz.–so I can see why there is a price differential.

Nonetheless, while it’s always great to get a ton of product for your money, we don’t always need the amount we buy, so sometimes just the initial investment cost is more important at the end of the day.  I think the amount you get is plenty to last you, even if this becomes an everyday palette (think of it as about 0.03 oz. per shade, as compared to the average eyeshadow at 0.05 oz.).

I really love this palette because of how well each shade coordinates with the others.  I see so many possibilities, and it’s definitely something I’d take with me on a weekend getaway.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you love warmer neutrals, Clarins Instant Sun Light Eyeshadow Palette is a good match for you.  Each shade is well-pigmented, smooth and soft to the touch, and blendable.

AvailabilityClarins

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Nubar 2010

Nubar 2010: Layer ’til Your Heart’s Content

Nubar 2010 ($7.49) is a clear base with glitter flakies suspended in the thick, colorless base.   The flakes are different sizes, and it’s definitely something designed to be worn on top of your favorite polishes rather than alone (but no worries, I showed it alone, as well).  It flashes a greenish-gold, fiery-gold, orange, and green, depending on how the light hits it and how much you use.  I just used one coat of Nubar 2010 over two coats of other polishes.  I picked polishes with cream finishes, rather than shimmery ones, and other than that, I just grabbed ones nearest to me.  It’s easy to use, as it applies smoothly while dispersing the flakies pretty evenly without  trouble!

For reference:

  • Thumb = Nubar 2010
  • Pointer = SpaRitual Solaris + Nubar 2010
  • Middle = SpaRitual Color Trip + Nubar 2010
  • Ring = SpaRitual Dreams Becoming Reality + Nubar 2010
  • Pinky = OPI Who the Shrek Are You? + Nubar 2010

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love to layer your polishes, you may find Nubar 2010 an excellent way to add some bling to your manicure/pedicure.

Availability: Nubar

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams
#5, #7, #18, #21

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams:  #5 Peach, #7 Fuchsia, #18 Purple, #21 Turquoise

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams ($22.00 for 0.21 oz.) have finally debuted at Sephora. These are AMAZING. There are twenty-one shades in total, but some are designed for the lips and cheeks while others are formulated for the eyes and cheeks (p.s. why isn’t there #19?).

Lips & Cheeks: #5 Peach, #6 Fresh Pink, #7 Fuchsia, #8 Red, #9 Coral, #10 Orange
Eyes & Cheeks: #1 Anthracite, #2 Steel, #3 Silver, #4 Snow, #11 Gold, #12 Golden Copper, #13 Warm Beige, #14 Satin Brown, #15 Taupe, #16 Pink Beige, #17 Plum, #18 Purple, #20 Intense Blue, #21 Turquoise, #22 Emerald Green

  • #5 Peach is a spun-gold peach with such a pretty sheen. It’s such a fresh pop of color on the cheeks. It reminded me of MAC Say Yeah eyeshadow a bit, actually–I was a little bummed to find out it wasn’t meant for eyes.
  • #7 Fuchsia is a bright fuchsia-purple with a soft sheen. It’s certainly intense, so go easy for a softer look.
  • #18 Purple is a softened lilac purple with a frosty finish. It was the least pigmented of the four I tried, though.
  • #21 Turquoise is aqua-teal with a frosty shimmer-sheen. It’s wickedly gorgeous. I’ve seen plenty o’ teal in the past few years, but this one is absolutely stunning.

These are creamy without being ultra creamy–I think I’d actually prefer them to be just a smidgen creamier. They’re blendable, but they dry down quickly. These didn’t budge, smudge, or crease on me one bit, whether they were on my eyes, lips, or cheeks. In fact, you really have to use an oil-based makeup remover to get all the last bits of it off. I tried using these as eyeliners, bases, and blushes, and they worked fabulously at each job. In fact, I enjoyed these four so much that I ordered five more (Fresh Pink, Coral, Gold, Warm Beige, and Intense Blue).

The only complaint I have–a minor one at that–is that the packaging feels a little cheap. They’re easy to store, since they’re small and rounded, but the plastic feels a bit on the thinner side, and there is also a lot of air in the jar from the get-go, which concerns me in regards to whether these will dry out after six months or so.  You do get a fair amount of product for your money, which was nice to see.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love color and rich, creamy textures, you may find the new Aqua Creams right up your alley.

Availability: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →